He looks in the direction he wants to go. One foot leaves the ground and hangs for a second while his weight shifts. The foot returns to the ground and he stumbles forward. Left foot, right foot, left foot, right foot.
The whole world is constantly shifting under my son’s feet. His perambulating can be called rocky, unstable, and haphazard. I have noticed that while he is standing I can easily push him and he will easily fall. No, I don’t push my kid around regularly, but a man has to know his son’s abilities and limits. The point is, standing and walking unaided is a brand new skill that requires quite a bit of practice to get right. We weren’t born riding a surfboard, nor did we come out of the womb ready to hike up a mountain. Balance comes naturally, but not immediately.
The most useful part about Caleb’s new ability is that we don’t have to carry him everywhere. What a relief for both of us. He is such a big boy now, and my arms get pretty tired after just a few minutes of holding him. His unstable nature makes it easy for us to send him in the direction we want him to go. However, he is learning to pull away and resist our loving guidance. He is learning that he doesn’t like it when we tell him not to see what’s in the street. He realizes that he has a fighting chance, and he’s gonna take it to see what’s around the corner.
I am so afraid that Caleb is going to push away from us in his later years. I want him to think on his own and make his own decisions about God and his faith, but I fear that the world will influence him to turn away from God. I am powerless to do anything about it, so I pray that God will call Caleb to Him. I also pray that I will learn to discipline Caleb lovingly and wisely so that he respects me, even when he dislikes me.
For now, we will work on his walking skill. He will need it for the rest of his life.
When the earth totters, and all its inhabitants,
it is I who keep steady its pillars. Selah
Psalm 75:3 (ESV)